New NH Historic Marker Commemorates Signing of the Weeks Act

November 10th, 2011 by Melissa

Visitors to the lodge atop Mt. Prospect in Weeks State Park will get an additional helping of history, thanks to a new NH historic marker commemorating the signing of the Weeks Act.

The Marker reads:

“The Lodge atop Mt. Prospect was the summer home of John Wingate Weeks (1860 – 1926), renowned ‘Father of the Eastern National Forests,’ author of the Weeks Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, March 1, 1911. The Act enables the government to buy privately owned land to be ‘permanently reserved, held and administered as national forest lands,’ for the protection, development, and use of their natural resources. Much of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), one of the 48 forests made possible by the Weeks Act, can be viewed from the Lodge and from the fieldstone fire tower near the Lodge.”

An interactive map of all of the state’s historical highway markers is available at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources’ website, www.nh.gov/nhdhr.

The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker Program is jointly managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of Transportation.

New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural, engineering and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among the most important environmental assets of the state. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit us online at www.nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling (603) 271-3483.

Weeks Act Presentation at AMC Boston, November 2

September 20th, 2011 by Melissa

100 years ago the Weeks Act was passed giving Congress the power to purchase private forests to protect watersheds and preserve them from development. The White Mountain National Forest was one of the first large areas protected­ – today 22,000,000 acres nationwide have been preserved thanks to this landmark legislation. A Massachusetts congressman, John Wingate Weeks, was responsible for crafting the bill that was named after him.

Jim Hamilton and William Weeks, John Wingate Week’s grandson and former Massachusetts congressman, will present a Power Point slide show at Cabot Auditorium, 5 Joy Street, November 2, at 12:00pm. It will describe why the legislation was necessary, the political hurdles that had to be surmounted, the impact on the White Mountains, and a personal glimpse of the man who made it all possible. Brown bag lunch at 11:30am.

Weeks Act Centennial Festival = Great Success

August 4th, 2011 by Melissa

Campton, N.H., August 01, 2011—The White Mountain National Forest would like to thank all the exhibitors, partners, artists, and volunteers, for participating in the July 29, 2011, Weeks Act Centennial Festival. Your enthusiasm and energy truly made the festival a success and we appreciate your presence.

The event—commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act—attracted several hundred people (and over 50 retirees) to the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road to learn more about the National Forest, wood products, outdoor safety, water, and much more. Music, storytelling, and historical interpretations were entertaining and educational. Demonstrations from expert wood workers exhibiting their crafts were major highlights along with the hands on activities in the Family Pavilion.

“Having all our partners and friends in conservation and tourism along with the great group of retirees join us in this event was a clear statement of the legacy of the Weeks Act and the White Mountain National Forest,” reflected Forest Supervisor Thomas Wagner. “It’s in large part due to the Weeks Act that the White Mountain National Forest is here today, providing clean water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, forest products, and many other unique opportunities.”

For those who were unable to attend the festival, the Weeks Act made the creation of the National Forests east of the Mississippi River possible. This landmark piece of conservation legislation helped to create 41 National Forests in the Eastern United States. The Society for Protection of NH Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Plymouth State University, Weeks State Park Association, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, members of the Weeks family, and the White Mountain National Forest, will be providing several more activities and celebrations for the Weeks Act Centennial throughout the rest of the year. You can find a current list of events at www.weekslegacy.org.

For more information on the White Mountain National Forest please visit www.fs.fed.us/r9/white or call (603) 536-6100.

Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Weeks Act with 100 activities at Weeks State Park

August 2nd, 2011 by Melissa

LANCASTER — An appearance by Smokey the Bear, live music, a vintage car rally, plein air painters, an afternoon tea, scavenger hunts, and old-time activities like croquet and badminton are among the 100 exciting activities planned for Weeks State Park on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act. This important federal legislation, named for Lancaster native John W. Weeks, led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest and more than 50 other national forests.

All of the events at the park are free and open to the public. Families with children are especially encouraged to attend, as there will be many activities that appeal to kids.

The highlight of the weekend is an evening champagne reception and musical evening fundraiser with well-known North Country fiddler Patrick Ross & Friends on Saturday, August 13 at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by contacting the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire at info@aannh.org or by calling (603) 323-7302.  Proceeds from the evening will be shared by Weeks State Park and the Arts Alliance.

In addition, every Thursday from 5 to 7 pm painters will work outdoors at the Park before the evening program. Stay tuned here for more information on all of the activities planned for the weekend, or check for details and updates at www.aannh.org.

The weekend’s events are part of the White Mountains Cultural Festival: 8 Days of Weeks, a collaborative, grassroots festival honoring the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage that is being held on the eight weekend days of August. Festival activities – all celebrating the connections between art and nature – will be focused in a different part of the region each weekend, with an activity hub serving as the focal point, along with local festivals, heritage days, concerts and other activities in many surrounding communities.

Community celebrations during the first weekend, August 6 and 7, are being held from Plymouth to Lincoln, with special events in Holderness, which will mark the 250th Anniversary of the town, and in Wonalancet, which has planned a village-wide event that includes hikes, talks, home tours, music and art to celebrate Wonalancet as it was 100 years ago.

On the second weekend, in addition to festivities at Weeks State Park, Whitefield will celebrate with an art exhibit, workshops with Weeks cartoonist Marek Bennett, stories of the community and its history told by residents, and a walking tour of the downtown. Specific information on Festival activities and the Weeks Act celebration can be found on the Arts Alliance website at www.aannh.org and at www.weekslegacy.org.

The Festival is coordinated by the Arts Alliance in partnership with the White Mountain National Forest and Arts Alliance members and partners throughout the region and around the state, including the Weeks Centennial Coordinating Committee.

“Outdoors with the AMC” Column Outlines Upcoming Weeks Act Centennial Activities

July 15th, 2011 by Melissa

What comes to mind when you think of the White Mountain National Forest and its surroundings?  Recreational opportunities? Forest products? Natural attractions? Partnerships?  All of these and more will be highlighted at the Weeks Act Centennial Festival, to be held at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road on July 29 from 9 am to 3 pm.

Among the day’s offerings are Junior Ranger activities; water, pond, and stream discovery activities; a weather demonstration by representatives of the Mount Washington Observatory; a hands-on watershed display; and the mobile forest heritage museum, “Way of the Woods.”

Crafts and craftspeople will also be featured, with demonstrations to include a cross-cut competition with the University of New Hampshire Woodsmen; wood-turning; basket-making; and an old tools demonstration. Representatives from the national forest and the Appalachian Mountain Club are set to lead a hike to view various trail structures and discuss techniques of trail management and trail maintenance. AMC representatives are also set to lead an interpretive hike during which they will point out White Mountain flora and fauna.

Logging history interpretation is set to be provided by Dick Fortin, and performances are slated with storyteller Rebecca Rule; Jeff Warner performing lumber camp songs; fiddler, Patrick Ross; and Marek Bennett and his band, Big Paws.

Read the full article at http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20110710/NEWHAMPSHIRE03/110719968/-1/new.

Weeks Act Legacy Trail Field Trip: Saturday, August 20

July 13th, 2011 by Melissa

Weeks State Park Event – Weeks Act Legacy Trail Field Trip
(Saturday 08/20/2011 – 09:00 AM03:00 PM)

This free field trip will introduce participants to a few of the stops along the driving route of the new Weeks Act Legacy Trail in the White Mountain National Forest.  Upon completing the field trip, visitors will be able to download trail information onto their smart phones or iPad devices or print out maps with their home computer.

The group will meet at Artists Bluff parking lot on Route 18 in Franconia, NH at 9:00 am and will carpool to selected sites along the trail.

Weeks State Park Association, NH Division of Parks, and UNH Cooperative Extension, with additional support from local businesses.

For more information:

Questions about this event can be directed to Dave Govatski by calling Weeks State Park at 788-4004.

Saving the Mountains: New Hampshire & Creating the National Forests

July 12th, 2011 by Melissa

Margret and H.A. Rey Center, Waterville Valley, July 15 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.  Lecture – Saving the Mountains: New Hampshire & Creating the National Forests by Marcia Schmidt Blaine

This year, New Hampshire and the nation are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act, the law that created the eastern national forests. New Hampshire’s White Mountains played a leading role in events leading to the act. Focusing on Concord’s Joseph B. Walker and the Forest Society’s Philip Ayres, Marcia Schmidt Blaine, from Plymouth State University, will explore the relationship between our mountains and individuals who worked to protect them. Adults and families with children ages 8+.  Held at the Margret and H.A. Rey Center, Waterville Valley Resort’s Town Square, NH.

This program is generously sponsored by the NH Humanities Council’s Humanities To Go! program. There is no charge to attend, donations are welcome. Contact: programs@thereycenter.org or 603-236-3308

You are Invited to 8 Days of Weeks!

July 12th, 2011 by Melissa

Communities throughout the White Mountains–from Plymouth to Gorham–will be celebrating 100 years of the Weeks Act–as well as culture and heritage in the Whites–during August as part of the “8 Days of Weeks” festival.  Highlights include:

  • Weekend music and concerts
  • Guided hikes and tours with Forest Service naturalists
  • Local festival and heritage days throughout the region
  • Hands on craft projects

For more information on this family-friendly summer festival, please visit www.weekslegacy.org or the  Arts Alliance of Northern NH webpage.

Mount Washington Observatory Weeks Lecture Series

July 6th, 2011 by Melissa

The Mount Washington Observatory’s Weather Discovery Center in North Conway will host a summer lecture series for six weeks in a row in July and August. This free lecture series focuses on the significance of the Weeks Act and its impact on the past, present and future of our national forests. This free series will be held at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway on six successive Tuesday nights in July and August.  All programs begin at 7pm.  The schedule is as follows:

July 12
Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More, Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, Brown University
The Impact of North Country Community and Collaboration in the Weeks Act of 1911

July 19
Tom Wagner, Supervisor, White Mountain National Forest
100 Years of Public Land Management

July 26
Mark Okrant, Professor of Tourism Management, Director of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, Plymouth State University
Two Centuries of Tourism in the White Mountains: A Region Comes Full Circle

August 2
David Govatski, U.S. Forest Service, retired; Board of Directors, whitemountainhistory.org
The Weeks Act and the Creation of the White Mountain National Forest

August 9
Linda Upham-Bornstein, Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Plymouth State University
Working Forests: From Market Revolution to Industrialization

August 16
Marcia Schmidt Blaine, Associate Professor of History, Plymouth State University
Saving the Mountains: Joseph B. Walker, Phillip Ayers, and the Weeks Act of 1911

For more information please visit the Mount Washington Observatory’s site: www.mountwashington.org/education/weeks/

Weeks Act Celebration Hike – Crawford Path & Gibbs Brook Scenic Area July 15th

July 6th, 2011 by Melissa

Weeks Act Celebration Hike – Crawford Path & Gibbs Brook Scenic Area.
Appalachian Mountain Club and Forest Society Co-leaders

Friday July 15th, 9 am to 4 pm
Raindate: Saturday, July 16th

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the historic Weeks Act which ultimately created the White Mountain National Forest. Amidst unsustainable logging practices and damage to water resources, two organizations; The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Appalachian Mountain Club led the cry of public outrage and called for the government to protect natural resources. In 1911 the Weeks Act was passed allowing the government to purchase private land for resource protection, enabling creation of the White Mountain National Forest and 51 other national forests totaling more than 20 million acres.

Among groups instrumental in passage of the Weeks Act, the Forest Society and AMC remain active today while the WMNF has grown from 7,000 to almost 800,000 acres. This year, the same two organizations celebrate those visionaries who fought long and hard for land conservation by co-sponsoring a commemorative hike in the heart of the White Mountains.

Join the Forest Society for a guided hike along the Crawford Path where the Weeks Act legacy surrounds us on a scenic trail in the mountains. Co- led by Dave Anderson, Director of Education, Forest Society and Nancy Ritger, AMC Senior Naturalist, this hike features our continuing partnership, the historic Crawford Path, the oldest continuously used hiking path in the US, Gibbs Brook with its scenic cascades and remnants of stream monitoring and Gibbs Brook Scenic Area featuring a rare patch of old growth forest. The hike is a moderate climb with opportunities to learn how the White Mountains were conserved. There is no charge, but registration is required as space is limited. Hikers should be prepared for mountain weather.

To pre-register e-mail signup@forestsociety.org or call (603) 224-9945 ext. 313.